All posts by sabines

Tips For Cleaning Brushes

Tips for cleaning brushesSpring is almost here and what better time to clean your beauty tools? Last weekend, I cleaned every hair, make up, and toothbrush in my house. While I try to clean my make up brushes at least once a month, for some reason, my hair brushes are often forgotten. They get pretty dirty with repeated use, especially if you’re using styling products. By cleaning your brushes regularly, you are going to remove gunk, oil, product buildup, and even dead skin. You can buy expensive brush cleansers, but I like to use simple household items to make my tools clean again.

Toothbrush

tips for cleaning brushes

Some germs go down the drain, but far too many remain on our toothbrushes. Soak your toothbrush in antibacterial mouthwash. Rinse thoroughly before using again.

Makeup Brushes

Mix one part olive with one part dish soap. The olive oil will help condition and moisturize the bristles. Swirl the bristles around to break down any makeup residue.

tips for cleaning brushes

Rinse only the bristles.

Tips for cleaning brushes

Lay brush flat to dry.

This mixture also works great for cleaning beauty sponges.

Hair Brushes

tips for cleaning brushes

Back in the days, this was my grandmother’s method. Use a comb to remove hair. In a container, combine 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp shampoo and 1 cup of warm  water. Submerge the hair brush and soak for at least 30 minutes. Rinse with water.

Doesn’t it feel good to use a gunk-free, clean brush on your skin and hair?

 

How often do you clean your brushes? Do you have any tips and tricks you’d care to share?

 

Life Lessons From A Single Mom

single mom

As the country looks for clues about what turned Nikolas Cruz into a cold-hearted mass shooter, many “experts” blame his violent behavior on a “broken home”. According to numerous media accounts, the shooter came from a fatherless home.  Apparently, single moms are now the main cause of males becoming mass shooters. The unfair stereotype is still invoked: a single mom presides over a broken home that produces a troubled child.

As a single mom of three, I don’t agree with this popular prejudice. Many single parents do their job of parenting extremely well. My children are a good example. In May, my oldest daughter will graduate law school at just 23 years of age.  Her sister is getting ready to graduate college, summa cum laude. At 14, my son is a straight “A” high school freshman. My kids love life, people, and animals. They are responsible, hard-working, caring human beings. I’m incredibly proud of them.  Not all children raised by a single mother end up as mass shooters or drug dealers.

From my experience, when it comes to creating a healthy family, it’s not the number of parents in a home, but the quality of parenting a child receives that matters most. A home is only “broken” when healthy family dynamics break down: communication stops, love is absent, or destructive behavior sets in, for example.

What is true is that single mothers and fathers must take on additional family responsibility. However, by rising to this enormous challenge,  single parents develop remarkable skills and strengths  worthy of appreciation and recognition.

Here are just a few strengths/skills and ideas I have developed and (hopefully) passed down to my children.

single mom

1. Be resilient and never give up.

Since becoming a single mom, seven years ago, I’ve had to face all the challenges by myself.  As hard as things sometimes get, my kids picked up some significant perks from watching me do so much. They’ve learned how important it is to come up stronger every time they have a new, painful experience. My kids know about the art of taking life’s losses in stride. Learning the skill to recover quickly from difficult situations goes a long way with the ability to adapt and persevere.

2. Be financially savvy.

In my house we don’t waste money or food. Learning how to stretch a dollar – a skill which my kids learned at a young age – seems to come with the single mom territory.  My kids have developed a frugal mindset and have far less money stress than most people their age. These lessons go a long way in forging their path towards financial independence.

3. It’s ok to be alone.

People often ask me whether I date. The answer is “no”. I’m a happy, healthy, and busy woman, who doesn’t need a man to be happy . I tell my girls I may be alone, but I’m not lonely.  Doing things alone can be a wonderful thing. One of the best things my daughter Christy did while interning in New York was explore the city by herself. She was alone and independent… and she was incredibly happy. Meanwhile, my boy has learned to value my and his sisters’ strength and independence.

4. Develop multitasking.

My daughters are two of the best multitaskers I know. From the day I became a single mom, they knew that between work, home, and after school activities, their mom is juggling nonstop. My kids caught this skill automatically and will reap the benefits all through their lives.

5. Enjoy the small things.

When life has more challenges than luxury, everything is much more appreciated. Every little happiness calls for a celebration. I urge my kids to live a full and vibrant life. No point in waiting for things to happen down the road. I encourage them to be passionate, to love deeply and to live every day fully. In our house, memories and special moments triumph possessions. You can’t buy true joy or love.

6. Women are as capable as men.

My kids have seen me do just about anything: from gutting a bathroom to changing car filters, to cutting trees and mowing the lawn, to paying bills, to decorating a birthday cake, to curling my hair and applying make up. etc. This has given them an enlightened view of gender roles.

7. Be independent.

Watching me take care of our family on my own has taught my children to value their education, career and worth in an everlasting way. My kids don’t rely on other people to take care of them. It’s important to be able to be independent and do things on your own.

8. Stay organized.

Single parents manage a lot of responsibility. It takes organization and routines to run a home efficiently. As a result, all my kids thrive in a clutter-free, organized environment.

9. Your siblings are your “forever” friends.

I will not live forever, but I hope that my kids will always have the strongest bond with each other. After all they have been together through awkward, embarrassing, joyous, and miserable times.

10. Raising children alone is the hardest job in the world. 

It is always a privilege to be raised by both parents but sometimes life has something else in store for us.  Sure, our lives would have been different with two parents. But that doesn’t mean they would have been better. My kids learned about sadness and frustration from me. But they also learned about joy, determination, gratitude and love. So much love for all of them.

single mom

What are your thoughts on this controversial topic? Are you a single parent? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Coconut Cream Yogurt

Coconut Yogurt

Yogurt is amazing for gut health. I eat it almost every day. Because I love anything and everything coconut flavored so much, I decided to make coconut cream yogurt. I am not vegan, nor am I allergic to milk – I just choose to limit my dairy intake.

I only used two ingredients to make this delicious yogurt.

2 cans of coconut milk

4  Probiotics (must contain one of these strains – Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streprococcus thermophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis or Lactobacillus acidophilus)

Coconut yogurt

Coconut cream yogurt is so easy to make.

If you want thick, greek-style yogurt, refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight. This makes it much easier to scoop out the coconut cream and will make the yogurt thick. If you don’t like your yogurt thick, add some or all the coconut water that’s within the can. Play around, find what works for you and go with it.

Coconut Yogurt

Since my probiotics are not capsules but mini tablets, I went ahead and crushed them. In the end it’s all the same. Pour the coconut creme/milk into a glass jar. Add the probiotics and stir well. Close the jar and place it in the oven with the oven light on. Let the yogurt sit in the oven for 24 hours.

After you take it out of the oven, place the coconut cream yogurt in the fridge for a few hours.

Coconut Yogurt

The end result is a thick, creamy yogurt – a dairy-free probiotic culture.

Coconut creme yogurt

Add honey and/or vanilla and you’ll get just the right balance of tanginess and sweetness.  Flavor it anyway you want. I like to eat mine with a homemade berry compote.

Have you tried making coconut yogurt?